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Former Google Search head Amit Singhal joins the board of Paytm

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Amit Singhal, the former head of Google Search, has now joined the board of One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm. His addition to the team will help the company with technical competence in delivering more robust financial products.

He will now be the 11th member on the board of One97, which apart from CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, includes SAIF Partners Directors Ravi Adusumalli and Vivek Mathur, Alibaba representative Jing Xiandong, Neeraj Arora from Whatsapp Inc. and Tata Sons Chairman emeritus Ratan Tata.

Expressing his contentment on joining one of the leading financial upstarts in India, Amit Singhal said,

I have always admired PayTm for its innovative payment products and vision for financial inclusion. I’m delighted to be joining their board.

Currently focusing on philanthropic efforts through the Singhal Foundation, Amit was the head of Google Search till February this year. He will be joining Paytm as an additional director on the board.

Commenting about the appointment of Amit, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of PayTm said,

Amit is a pioneer in the technology industry and we are incredibly excited to welcome him to Paytm’s board. We believe his strong expertise in artificial intelligence and experience in building large deeply technical teams will be extremely valuable to PayTm as we continue to grow rapidly.

He’s got a BS degree in Computer Science from University of Roorkee(now known as IIT Roorkee) in India, a MS in Computer Science from University of Minnesota and a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. After completing his PhD, he joined AT&T Labs in 1996 and later moved to Google in 2000.

Amit Singhal worked at Google for around 15 years, where he led the company’s core search team and spearheaded Google search’s transition to mobile and other platforms. He recently retired from his former role to pursuit his own interests. In 2001, he rewrote the search engine and as a reward for his work, Amit Singhal was named a ‘Google Fellow’.

He is also an active investor and adviser to various companies. Recently, he joined the board of GOQii, a US-based fitness technology products company that caters to Indian consumers.

This news comes just at a time when Paytm is readying for its payments bank launch. It is also battling it out for a share of the growing e-commerce market that is currently being dominated by Amazon and Flipkart.

Paytm, which is leading in the digital wallet market, is spinning off its payment business into separate entity. Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. will be a subsidiary of One97, with Vijay Sharma holding 51% stake. It is set to launch by end of October.

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